A lot has been and is being said about how Traveling changes our perspective on life, opens our hearts to memorable adventures and provides a sense of liberation. I have experienced all of these which were lead by couple of gut-wrenching experiences during my trip to the beautiful Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia.
A country with beautiful landscapes that boast of a natural rustic charm and home to one of the most marvelous historical monuments in the world – The Angkor Wat. Yes, this is what most of the travelers travel to Cambodia for – the good part. However, a little scratch on the surface of these attractions and a slight emotional detour away from the picturesque sunrise/sunsets at the backdrop of the Angkor Wat, reveals a picture of the Cambodian society that reeks of two of the most feared human emotions – Pain and Loss.
I used to revel in my comfortable high-paying job in Singapore while enjoying my rocking professional life.Back then in June-July 2015, even my travel blog was about just writing about how much fun I had during my trips. But little did I know that my trip to Cambodia would give a different meaning to my life, shape my future travels and help me find the true purpose of my travel blog – Tamz Explores. I wanted to visit the Angkor Wat of course and it was worth every penny. That place is just purely amazing. However, a long chat with a friendly waiter in Siem Reap took me deeper into the history of Cambodia and that led me to the most hauntingly memorable human interaction I have had – meeting a survivor from the Khmer Rouge (Cambodian civil war). I got to know about his life and his deceased family who were among the millions of victims of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Three days later in the sleepy beach town of Sihanoukville, I helplessly witnessed a 6 year old girl being traded as a sex object while people around went on with their daily chores.
These two incidents made me understand more about the Cambodian society that is still trying to overcome the deep-rooted scars of Pain, Loss and Helplessness from their not so distant horrifying past. This also made me realize that stories like these need to be told. The truth of human atrocities and political ignorance has disastrous effects on communities, no matter where. Since then, I have been traveling places, exploring the relatively unknown aspects of a destination while trying to learn and understand the stories of the local communities. Through my blog, I try to compile these experiences and depict an honest picture.
I quit my corporate job in March 2016 and decided to venture out traveling places for a longer period of time. But that was my choice, it doesn’t have to be that way for every traveler. You need not quit your regular job to have meaningful travel experiences!! Not every traveler has to become a blogger to tell stories of different places and cultures. The purpose of travel should be to feel a place rather than just visit or see it. While safety remains the utmost concern for us but again, no place in the world is actually “safe”. So better make the most of this life doing what actually makes you happy. Go Travel, if not abroad then your own country. You’d be amazed at the surprises your own country can dish out. I am pretty excited about taking a country-wide road trip in India during October-November.